REVIEW: Keep Dancing – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Strictly Come Dancing alumni Robin Windsor and Anya Garnis, along with special guest star, 2012 series winner and Olympian Louis Smith, bring together over a century’s worth of dance styles in ballroom highlights show, Keep Dancing.

Undoubtedly selling tickets on the back of the popularity of the BBC’s flagship dance behemoth Strictly, the show demonstrates the diversity of dance in the UK in 2016. From the Charleston, through the golden era of Hollywood, to the Jitterbug and Lindy Hop and on through the century to Hip Hop with some Latin and Disco thrown into the mix, there’s virtually no dance style left unexplored. Interspersed with solos from the trio of vocalists, the production charges along at a fair lick.

Robin Windsor’s warmth and personality shine through as well as his considerable skill as a dancer, Anya Garnis is the consummate professional and the ensemble as a whole are a talented bunch, but there are moments when execution could have been tighter and the overall effect of the group dances was diminished due to sloppy execution. A highlight of the night is the all-male Paso led by Windsor, delivering a fresh take on a well-worn genre.

The vocalists are of varying quality with Lisa-Marie Holmes impressing the most, particularly in her rendition of Stormy Weather, in contrast, Adam Warrington had more than the hint of cruise ship crooner and suffered from tuning issues throughout. He more than made up for any shortcomings, with an impressive display of self-confidence.

In a show bursting with physical energy, there’s an overriding feeling of flatness throughout, the show would benefit from a compère to ramp up the excitement in between numbers and prevent the sluggish transitions. The set, though simplistic, reads well from the auditorium and the use of curtain drops, flags and colourful lighting ensure a variety of moods and atmospheres.

While entertaining enough, it’s more functional rather than fab-u-lous. Only for the most die-hard Strictly fans.

Runs until 29 October 2016 | Image: Contributed

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